Restaurateur Strives to be 'Radically Better'

Posted: Updated:

Indianapolis-based Patachou Inc. founder Martha Hoover says restaurants are "fertile grounds" for advancement opportunities for women. During a special edition of Inside INdiana Business Television focusing on women who are molding the state's entrepreneurial landscape, Hoover say she wants her restaurants to be "radically different and radically better." Her group, made up of 90 percent executives who are women and 80 percent female managers, currently consists of 11 locations. Hoover got into the restaurant business more than 25 years ago under circumstances that most would've considered "a recipe for disaster."

In the late-1980s, Hoover, a lawyer who had previously never worked in a for-profit industry, says she was pregnant with her third child and had no previous restaurant experience when she opened her first restaurant in Indianapolis. Cafe Patachou now has multiple locations and has built the foundation for a full portfolio of other dining concepts including Petite Chou Bistro and Champagne Bar, Napolese Artisanal Pizzeria and Wine Bar and Public Greens an Urban Kitchen Greens and Grill.

Hoover says one of the company's driving principles is sustainability, and not just from a profitability standpoint. "In terms of having an ecosystem that is Patachou, we have so many facets of the company that are really critical," Hoover told Gerry Dick. "We really want to be set apart in terms of the quality of our food, the quality of our customer service and the quality of our service to staff and community."

Her acumen has gained attention outside of Indianapolis. Last month, Hoover was announced as a semi-finalist for 2016 James Beard Awards in the Outstanding Restaurateur category.

Hoover's background serving others helped drive the launch of the Patachou Foundation. She says Indianapolis has "such an issue" with food accessibility and insecurity, especially among children, "so we decided this was something we could really, really turn our philanthropic efforts toward." The nonprofit is pushing to provide 16,000 locally-produced meals to the underserved throughout the year.

She says the company is strong and strategically growing and has "many, many more years in us." Hoover tells Inside INdiana Business Patachou is in negotiations for another restaurant outside of Indianapolis.

  • Perspectives

    • We’re Having the Wrong Conversations About Safety

      Every time there’s a shooting at a school or a workplace, the arguments begin. We need more police officers stationed in the buildings. We need to arm teachers or encourage employees to carry handguns. We should invest in smokescreen systems or bulletproof partitions. Everyone should hide from the shooter. Everyone should run from the shooter. Everyone should confront the shooter. It’s healthy that we’re discussing safety, but unfortunately, we’re talking...



  • Most Popular Stories

    • West Lafayette Center Breaks Ground

      West Lafayette city officials this week broke ground on the $31.5 million West Lafayette Wellness and Aquatic Center at Cumberland Park. Plans for the 72,000-square-foot project feature a natatorium, three gymnasiums, exercise machines, free weights and community rooms. 

    • (courtesy: Frank Logan/Military Vehicle Preservation Assoc.)

      Historic Military Convoy to Cross Indiana

      A sentinel moment of U.S. history is playing out Sunday in South Bend when the recreation of the U.S. Army Transcontinental Military Convoy rolls into town. Approximately 70 historic military vehicles are retracing the original 1919 cross country trip which traveled along the famed Lincoln Highway.

    • Forbes Ranks Top Colleges; 3 Indiana Schools Make the Cut

      Forbes released its 12th annual ranking of America’s Top Colleges based on direct benefits a university or college provides its students. Several Indiana universities made the list in some “sub-categories”, like Grateful Graduates Index, but the University of Notre Dame was the only school in the state to break the top 20 overall rankings.

    • Photo courtesy of Crestwood Village

      Justus Rental Properties Details Closures

      Indianapolis-based Justus Rental Properties, Inc. has announced it will be closing its assisted living service line at Crestwood Village West and Crestwood Village East. The company is also is in the process of selling the both communities.

    • (photo courtesy of the Marshall County EDC)

      Wire and Cable Startup to Set Up Shop in Argos

      A startup wire and cable company has announced plans to launch operations in Marshall County. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says Sequel Wire and Cable LLC will invest $53 million to purchase and equip the 50,000-square-foot Argos Manufacturing Center and create 120 jobs by the end of 2024. The company plans to expand the facility to more than 162,000 square feet and begin operations in early 2020. The $2.7 million Argos Manufacturing Center was built in part with...